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A Heart For God: The "Luck" of Barabbas

Thursday, October 18, 2007

The "Luck" of Barabbas

Barabbas. Do you remember him? He was the guy when Jesus was before Pilate who was offering for someone to be let go - it was Barabbas who got to go. You talk about "luck." That's what many in our society would call it. While as believers--how many of you know we don't live life with that kind of "chance" mentality? Rather, we know things happen for a reason. We know there's a God behind it all that causes this and that to take place and allows this and that or disallows this and that. We, as believers, don't live thinking it's by chance that things happen. Barabbas wasn't chosen to be in the running for freedom in Pilate's court that day long ago by chance. Uh uh. Instead, it was by design. It was God's "design" that Barabbas was chosen. It was because God wanted Barabbas there that he was there. It was because God wanted Barabbas set free.

And isn't that what God's favor and grace is all about? "For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is a gift of God; not as a result of works, that no one should boast" (Ephesians 2:8-9). God's favor and grace. It's all about people being chosen for freedom (from sin) not based on who they are or what they've done in the past, but rather based on because God's love has decided for it to happen (Romans 5:8).

God had decided that Barabbas should go free though he was a "notorious prisoner" (Matthew 27:16) and though he had insurrection in his blood. (Barabbas had robbed and murdered the Bible says.) Despite Barabbas' wickedness, God decided that Jesus should be held and killed and Barabbas let go (when it should have been the other way around). Isn't that amazing?

And it's all the more amazing when you understand the story of Barabbas is really a story about you and me. We are all prisoners of sin with no hope of release (just like Barabbas). And yet God's design is that Jesus take our place and die that we might be set free. O the depths of the riches of God's favor and grace! It's enough to make a person shout, "Hallelujah!"

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